Safe Harbour’s temporary homeless shelter at the downtown Cannery Row location will close on Sept. 30. (Advocate file photo)

Safe Harbour’s temporary homeless shelter at the downtown Cannery Row location will close on Sept. 30. (Advocate file photo)

City of Red Deer will meet with agencies to determine what can happen after shelter closes

The City of Red Deer says that work around the Safe Harbour shelter is focused on what will happen after Oct. 1

“The city’s work is focusing on preparing for Oct. 1, while also being strategic and collaborating with the community to mitigate immediate risks,” states a release from the city.

This comes following months of conversations and negotiations related to the permanent shelter, emergency temporary shelter, and the community impacts associated with the closure of the Cannery Row site.

In June, council directed administration to seek site purchase options for a temporary shelter as the Cannery Row site is set to close Sept. 30. Administration had hoped to bring back options to council late August, however, this work will now come forward in November when administration can provide a detailed update with operational progress.

“We have been working on a list of site purchase options with associated costs and processes. It is not fully completed for council to make a fully informed decision at this time,” said Kristin Walsh, manager of safe and healthy communities.

“Right now, administration is focused on preparing a plan to mitigate potential impacts from the Oct. 1 Cannery Row site closure on surrounding businesses, residents and the community, and we are continuing work with council on a permanent shelter.”

On Sept. 8, the city is facilitating a “Community Collaboration Table” where numerous agency stakeholders will come together to discuss potential options to address the gap in shelter services as of Oct. 1.

The invite list includes the Ministry of Community and Social Services, health officials, service providers such as Safe Harbour Society, RCMP, the Downtown Business Association, Central Alberta Crime Prevention Centre as well as several city departments focused on services for affected individuals.

“This session is designed to be highly interactive, solution-focused and human-centered.” said Walsh. “The solution is not prescribed; the purpose of this session is to bring people together to come up with ideas they can support in various operational ways.”

For more background information on the emergency temporary shelter, visit reddeer.ca/temporaryshelter.

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